Updated 24 Aug 2013; the buffet is now $12.40 and payment in cash only.
Man … were we surprised, pleasantly surprised!
I was just checking our old posting on Kedah House and found that the last time we were there was three years ago, almost to the day. I drive past Kedah House to and from work everyday and yet we had not eaten there for that long.
As always, Arkensen and Nanzaro wanted pho or sushi for lunch. The boys can just live of those stuff everyday — together with instant noodles. Suanne and I overruled that choice. Suanne does not like raw sushi at all. We finally settled for Malaysian instead.
We were going to drive all the way to Seri Malaysia in the far reaches of Vancouver until we remembered Kedah House. For some reason we did not have a good impression of Kedah House’s food. Perhaps that’s why we had not made an attempt to visit them after all these years.
Kedah House is located on SE Marine Drive (Vancouver) in a little strip mall just east of the Knight St Bridge. Many years ago they used to operate on Fraser Street until they moved here.
This is what changed our perception of Kedah House. They have a $10 buffet lunch on weekends. [Note: Malaysians normally call all-you-can-eat as buffets].
The decor is really basic with lots of misplaced Tourism Malaysia posters all over wall. As far as I remembered, it is much better than we visited this place 3 years ago. It is cleaner and brighter.
The buffet spread is placed along the wall on two sections of a long table. There was not a lot of varieties but more than enough for a good hearty lunch. Despite that, the quality is pretty awesome for a buffet.
We were kind of surprised how busy this restaurant was on a weekend. We got seated at a strategic location … just next to the buffet table! It does make it easier for repeat trips. Not sure about you, but I like many return trips to the buffet table for a “focused” selection of food rather than piling up the plate with all kinds of grub.
It is very Malaysian (or rather I should say “very Malay”) the way water are served in a plastic pitcher. He he he … they even serve it in a very Malaysian type of glass too. These kind of glasses are very common in Malaysian coffee shops, like 99.999% of the shops uses glasses of this design.
I will consider this as the “salad/appetizer”. It is not really an appetizer as Malay cuisine does not really have the concept of appetizer (well, unless you count munching on dates is considered as an appetizer). This is called Gado-Gado. Oh boy … this is soooo authentic that reminded me of the comfort food I grew up with.
The best part of the Gado Gado is the peanut sauce. They were marvelous and served warm too. I drenched the entire salad with the peanut sauce. I like the fact that they keep on refilling the peanut sauce so that they remain so deliciously freshly made on the buffet table. This is perhaps the best Gado Gado on this part of the planet.
All the usual ingredients were there … cucumber, ketupat, turnip, dried tofu, rice cake and hard boiled egg. Oh, talking about hard boiled egg, my mum (as in ALL mums in Malaysia) forbade me to eat overnight hard boiled eggs when I was young — I emphasize the word overnight. It was OK for girls to eat overnight hard boiled eggs but not for boys. Can anyone share with everyone why?
I had the cold hard boiled eggs. I don’t care if anyone stare at my pants. LOL!
Nasi Minyak is literally translated to as Oily Rice. It was really fragrant. We can pick up the smell from afar. The fragrance is from the spices used, primarily star anise and curry leaves. For once, forget the name but they are really delicious by itself.
This is a salad … freshly made from cucumber, pineapple, onions and chilli for that extra heat. Although we were told that this is sometimes taken by itself, the waitress recommended that we do it like this …
… mix the Nasi Minyak with the salad. I was not familiar of mixing the salad with Nasi Minyak but oh boy … it gives a very good balance of taste and texture. Try it — I think you will like it a lot. We did.
Their rendang is very tender and mushed from the slow cooking over many hours. Bursting with flavour at the bite and spicy hot, this is done very well. For those who knows rendang, you will probably agree that this looks perfect.
Overnight Hard Boiled Eggs are a no-no but fried eggs are OK for boys. They pour a sweetish chili sauce on it to add more character to it. Even Suanne who does not like eggs, thinks this is really good.
The Mee Goreng was really good too. There is also the Deep Fried Chicken which they call it Ayam Masak Merah — I did not have a picture of that. That was kind of greasy but if you can overlook that, it was fabulous.
The Vegetable Tom Yum Soup was well made with the right level of sourness and spiciness. It is infused with quite a bit of lemongrass which is what gives this soup the distinctive character.
This is my plates … I went for four servings in all. It is that good. Oh, in Malaysia it is quite OK to stack the used plates on the table. LOL! They don’t normally come by to clear used plates like we used to here.
Dessert was Apam Balik. It is like a pan cake. I wished they had used a lot of peanuts but they used corns instead. As much as I like Apam Balik, I just think that corns has no place in making this … it does not add to the texture nor compliment the already sweetish taste.
And the surprise of the day is KOPI! No, not coffee but Malaysian KOPI with its distinctive darker thicker roast. Oh wow, they could have gotten away by serving Folgers coffee but no, they actually imports Malaysian coffee to make Kopi. It smell and tasted exactly like the thick, dark, rich, creamy coffee from Malaysia.
For $10, this is really good and authentic Malay comfort food. It is all you can eat. I highly recommend that you check this place out one of these weekend. They “strongly recommend” on their menu that you make reservations for the $10 weekends buffet special but we found that we did not have to. Sure, it was busy when we were there but there were tables available. I am pretty sure you will like Kedah House.
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I love Kedah House. This is almost the only buffet/all you can eat place that I am happy to go and have my lunch/dinner. $10 is a super value. I love their Pandan cake/pudding and another dessert with rose water.
Looks delicious. I love the stacked plates; go big or go home!
now kedah house have a new menu… Still all the good foods…. 14 hrs away from home “Malaysia” this is what u will never forget…
Kedah Restaurant’s all you can eat is definetly a good choice for students or anyone who wants to save money. Even though there is not much food made available, it still gives you a satisfaction. The price is quite reasonable and the service is great too. I have been to Kedah house for several times and in fact I am going there in an hour.
Wandered into Kedah house after wanting to sample it for years. The owner was friendly and unobtrusive. The rendang was really to die for and of course the gado gado was simply the best I have ever had. The ayam merah (chicken in tomato) was okay and they did not have nasi minyak today. The mee goreng was not too great and the kueh and green beans soup for dessert were not up to par. But all in all, paying $ 10.00 for the delicious rendang and gado gado is more than fair…I will deinitely go back.
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We’re planning to go to Kedah tomorrow (Sunday) for dinner for a change. Can people order off the menu (ie: no buffet) ? Are they still as good as some people say ?
I am not sure if you can order off the menu on Kedah House’s Weekend Buffet. After all many of the dishes on their normal menu is part of the buffet. We like their buffet but I must also let you know that the last time Suanne brought her friends there for the buffet (about 2-3 months ago), it was a disappointment. Actually she was kind of embarrass too that it did not turn out close to what we had earlier after telling her friends that it was the best Malay buffet we had in Vancouver. Maybe it was just an off day for them but remember this: caveat emptor.
We had dinner there tonight. A basic, but serviceable, ambiance, enhanced by the friendly (if often hidden in the kitchen) service. The buffet was far smaller than I had expected in terms of selection. The DIY gado gado was ok, but lacked bean sprouts, chopped peanuts (‘tho there was more than enough peanut sauce which was pretty good) and green onions. But they constantly ran out of the gado gado ingredients and waits were long between their refills, despite a half-full room on a Sunday night.
The mee goreng was decent, the chicken dish (not fried, but in a chili/tomato sauce) was very tender and deep-flavoured. But the star of the night was the beef rendang. Melt-in-your-mouth tender, just right balance of lean & fatty bits, not overly-salty. I think I had two plates of rice with the beef and chicken alone. I also downed about three small bowls of the addictive, sweet dessert soup made of a purple-ish (taro ?), coconut milk and a type of black rice.
All in all, the meal was a pretty good value for 4 adults, one young child, at $50.35 after taxes. As for me, the beef rendang alone was worth the price of admission 😀
Hi LotusRapper: Oh nice. Did you happen to try their Kopi? They sweeten it with gula melaka (palm sugar) which taste different. 🙂 Ben
No I didn’t. Dunno if it was on the table. I just saw two coffee carafes, and a tea dispenser. I had some tea, but if kopi was available (or if I noticed it) I would have liked to try some.
Table service was minimal, bordering on absent. The young Malay guy was doing all the frontroom work, even though he was rarely *in* the room to begin with. For the record he was friendly when approached, but not exactly offering tons of customer interaction.
Overall, I’d say $10 is my threshold for this Kedah House buffet. It is what it is, no more no less. We didn’t see some of the things you guys were offered, such as nasi minyak/oily rice (we only saw white rice), the pineapple salad, fried egg (we had plain hardboiled, and another eggs in chili/curry sauce) and the apam balik (we saw what looked like cut-up pound cake).
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